Practice Areas

Dispute Resolution

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A 360-degree expertise in dispute resolution

The quantity, complexity, and stakes of litigation continue to grow. To support our clients in their most significant disputes, our firm offers comprehensive 360-degree expertise in dispute resolution.

At August Debouzy, 21 partners and over 80 lawyers appear before courts, according to their practice areas, before all types of courts: civil, commercial, criminal, as well as arbitral, and other specialized tribunals. Strategic and tenacious, our lawyers are experts in all French and international proceedings in their respective fields of competence.

Our uniqueness lies in our multidisciplinary approach and seamless coordination between teams. Whether it involves finding the optimal amicable solution, conducting mediation or conciliation, responding to an action, or initiating one, our lawyers have built their reputation on the ability to propose innovative strategies.

Our firm is proud to have earned the trust of leading French and international companies, particularly in the pharmaceutical, defense, energy, and new technology sectors. We take account of the specificities of each industry in our litigation strategies.

Interventions

  • Dispute Resolution

  • Corporate and Commercial Litigation

  • White-Collar Crime and Investigations

  • International Arbitration

  • Restructuring and Insolvency Litigation

  • Tax Litigation

  • Employment litigation: Individual and Collective Litigation

  • IP / IT Litigation

  • Patent litigation

  • Competition, Retail and Consumer Law Litigation

  • Real Estate and Construction Litigation

  • Public Litigation

  • Environmental Litigation

  • European Litigation

  • Conciliation and Mediation

The quantity, complexity, and stakes of litigation continue to grow. To support our clients in their most significant disputes, our firm offers comprehensive 360-degree expertise in dispute resolution.

At August Debouzy, 21 partners and over 80 lawyers appear before courts, according to their practice areas, before all types of courts: civil, commercial, criminal, as well as arbitral, and other specialized tribunals. Strategic and tenacious, our lawyers are experts in all French and international proceedings in their respective fields of competence.

Our uniqueness lies in our multidisciplinary approach and seamless coordination between teams. Whether it involves finding the optimal amicable solution, conducting mediation or conciliation, responding to an action, or initiating one, our lawyers have built their reputation on the ability to propose innovative strategies.

Our firm is proud to have earned the trust of leading French and international companies, particularly in the pharmaceutical, defense, energy, and new technology sectors. We take account of the specificities of each industry in our litigation strategies.
Our corporate and commercial litigation team has handled some of the most high-profile cases of the last ten years.

Our lawyers handle strategic international corporate litigation, and frequently work with a worldwide network of partner lawyers.

Our practice focuses on three main areas:
  • equity financing and corporate governance litigation (post-acquisition disputes - seller's warranties, price adjustments and earn-outs, accusations of fraud - shareholder disputes, unfair dismissal, and liability of corporate officers),
  • contractual and tort litigation (breach of contract, unfair commercial practices, unfair termination of commercial relations, enforcement actions, contractual liability, etc.),
  • industrial litigation: in collaboration with our team of patent attorneys and engineers, we occupy a unique position in the market (product liability, latent defects, industrial accidents, classified and protected sites, supply chains, etc.).
According to our clients' needs, we analyze the most advantageous method of dispute resolution and promote alternatives to litigation where appropriate. In order to resolve disputes in an effective and sustainable manner, we also advise our clients in the course of amicable procedures such as conciliation or mediation.
Our white-collar team has developed recognized expertise in handling difficult cases with significant political and media implications. We defend companies, executives, and prominent public figures who are under investigation, facing prosecution, or acting as civil parties in complex cases involving various types of economic offenses (insider trading, corruption, misuse of corporate assets, money laundering, market manipulation, tax fraud, falsification of financial statements, defamation, fraud, extortion, and international sanctions).

Our experience in transnational proceedings and multi-jurisdictional prosecutions, combined with our robust network of partner firms, enables us to support our clients in sensitive cases abroad. Our team operates before French criminal courts as well as before foreign prosecuting authorities (such as the Department of Justice and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in the United States, and the Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom).

We conduct internal investigations and defend our clients before courts and regulatory bodies both in France and internationally.

As experts on cutting-edge issues, our team assists clients in environmental criminal law and negotiated justice. Indeed, our lawyers have signed some of the most significant Judicial Public Interest Agreements (CJIP) with the National Financial Prosecutor's Office.

Complementary Expertise: Compliance
We represent major companies in national and international commercial arbitration proceedings (both ad hoc and institutional) across a wide range of sectors. To meet our clients' needs, we rely on a global network of partner lawyers to create bespoke teams.

Our lawyers primarily act as counsel and are also frequently appointed as arbitrators.
Our team has recognized expertise in handling state Court proceedings in support of arbitration.

In providing personalized support tailored to our clients' specific needs, our lawyers find the most suitable dispute resolution methods for each case. We always propose alternative dispute resolution solutions where appropriate. Our lawyers seek the most efficient solutions to preserve business operations and relationships.
Our expertise in corporate restructuring allows us to support and assist business leaders facing difficulties with a personalized approach to overcome the challenges they may face within their companies. Based on our clients' needs, we guide them towards amicable solutions such as conciliation, or judicial solutions including safeguard procedures, recovery, or liquidation. Collective proceedings, which encompass these various judicial solutions, aim to protect troubled businesses and organize their recovery, or if necessary, their orderly liquidation. Our expertise also extends to employment, competition, criminal, and environmental restructurings.

We act for various stakeholders, including debtors, shareholders, financial creditors, and potential buyers. Restructurings in crisis situations often generate a variety of disputes, such as appeals against procedural decisions by debtors, dissatisfied creditors, or employee representatives, or litigation involving liability claims initiated by collective proceeding bodies or employees against directors, shareholders, or buyers. These tense situations with conflicting interests often lead to complex legal disputes.

Our lawyers harness a deep understanding of the dynamics involving all stakeholders. We negotiate and implement innovative solutions and defend our clients with determination before the courts. Known for our proactive and combative approach, we represent our clients with passion and tenacity, positively influencing outcomes at every stage of the judicial process.
We offer comprehensive tax audit support to help you identify and minimize your tax risks. We provide strategic advice on risk mitigation, assist with tax audits, and draft responses to tax authorities, helping you seek amicable solutions and provide representation in both administrative and judicial courts.

And we do so internationally, for a variety of services, including:

- Corporate and individual tax audit assistance;
- Tax inspections (dawn raids and seizures);
- Challenging administrative decisions;
- Assistance before the joint TCA and direct taxes committees;
- Assistance before first instance and appellate courts;
- Assistance in specific matters relating to computerized accounting control;
- Defense in criminal proceedings involving tax fraud compliance audit (hybrid directive, DAC6...) Employee share ownership.
Our team handles sensitive labor law disputes before all courts, either against or on behalf of the company or its executives.
We assist our clients in managing their criminal risk, developing their risk prevention policy, and defining their legal strategy.

- High-stakes collective and individual disputes
- Labor criminal law
- Social security disputes

Our commitment to these cases, in an ever-evolving legislative and jurisprudential context, allows us to secure and best support our clients in complex operations, both domestically and internationally. We also collaborate seamlessly with other teams within our firm to provide, when appropriate, a comprehensive and cross-functional support.
Our IP-IT department offers a combination of in-depth expertise and diversified experience to meet the legal challenges arising from continuous technological change.

Our team has extensive expertise in contract law, digital technologies, intellectual property, cybersecurity and dispute resolution, to ensure that your negotiations, relationships and transactions are secure. By integrating the Data team into our department, we are strengthening our ability to support you on vital issues of personal data protection, privacy and cybersecurity. Our expertise also covers the use of innovative tools and technologies, such as smart cameras, connected objects, biometrics and artificial intelligence.

Digital Technology Litigation: We offer comprehensive assistance in all types of disputes relating to digital technologies and the Internet before national and European courts. We intervene at all potential stages of litigation, from the legal risk audit and mediation in the pre-litigation phase, to the preparation of expert reports and bailiff's reports.

Data protection and privacy litigation: Our team has extensive expertise in managing CNIL-related litigation and other disputes before national civil, criminal and even labour courts, working closely with our Employment Law team. We intervene both upstream (risk audit, pre-litigation management) and after a dispute has arisen (mediation, development of strategies for dealing with the people concerned, assistance during inspections and post-inspections - or during litigation proceedings before the supervisory authorities or the civil or criminal courts).
Patent Litigation before the French Courts and the UPC
Our team, comprised of European Patent Attorneys, lawyers and industrial property advisors, represents our clients in patent litigation before national courts and the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Since the launch of the UPC, we have been one of the most involved and sought-after teams before this court, given our perfect understanding of its procedures and our solid experience in managing cross-border cases. Our proven experience and ability to react make us particularly effective in managing the most complex cases (interim injunction, declaration of non­infringement, claim to ownership of an invention, arbitration, mediation, FRAND litigation, coordination of pan-European litigation, etc.). We maximise these capabilities by working closely with other teams within the firm.

Patent litigation before the offices (EPO and INPI)
Our team has comprehensive expertise in litigation before the EPO and INPI, covering all processes including oppositions and appeals, third-party observations and intervention by the alleged infringer before the EPO, limitations, monitoring of competitors' patent applications, provisional protections.

Our team has also proven experience in:
- Pharmaceutical and medical device litigation and advice
- Advice and litigation on employee inventions
Competition Litigation
We support our clients in all litigation related to competition law. Our team ensures the defense of your interests before the Competition Authority and the European Commission. We also intervene in commercial disputes with a competition aspect before the competent jurisdictions. Moreover, our expertise is well-recognized in the compensation for damages linked to anti-competitive practices.

Consumer-related disputes
Our team represents clients in numerous disputes concerning consumer law:

- Damage assessment and class action cases,
- Negotiation with the authorities,
- Unfair/deceptive commercial practices,
- Non-compliant discount policy,
- Comparison between brands Health & safety compliance,
- Controlled designation policy compliance,
- Compliance with standards,
- Criminal liability of executives.

Distribution Litigation
We can handle the full range of distribution disputes, including violations of contractual relationships, anti-competitive or discriminatory practices, disputes with franchises or distribution networks.
Our team advises and assists all actors in the real estate and construction industries with their transactions involving all types of assets (offices, retail, logistics, hotels, residential, and others).

Our lawyers have particular expertise in avoiding disputes and managing them when they arise. We represent our clients before all civil, commercial, and administrative courts, both in main proceedings and summary proceedings, whether in prosecution or defense, as well as in arbitration, mediation, conciliation, and the establishment of private expertise.

We also assist our clients in reducing risks of litigation and seeking and obtaining amicable solutions where appropriate.

Our practice focuses on:
- Investment disputes (promises of sale, acquisitions, share purchase agreements, enforcement of liability guarantees, etc.),
Real estate disputes (property claims, demolition actions, easements, etc.),
Rental disputes (lease renewal charges, eviction indemnities, landlord-tenant conflicts, enforcement of rental guarantees, etc.),
Disputes related to construction operations (urgent pre-contractual and expert proceedings, constructors' liability, disputes related to unexpected costs or delays, etc.),
Urban planning and ICPE disputes (classified installations for environmental protection),
Restructuring operations for companies in distress in the real estate sector (ad hoc mandates, safeguard procedures, insolvency, receiverships, and liquidation).
Our team holds a leading position in the public law market due our lawyers’ expertise across all areas, including: public procurement law, urban planning law, regulated industries (such as pharmaceuticals, arms, tobacco, gaming, etc.), European law, and administrative litigation.

We appear before administrative courts for private companies, both French and international, as well as public and semi-public organizations, particularly in the railway, aerospace, and energy sectors. Nearly half of our public law practice is dedicated to dispute resolution and litigation.

Our experience includes representing clients in cases of ultra vires actions, emergency injunctions, pre-contractual and contractual injunctions, and QPC (French priority constitutionality issue). We also assist our clients with direct actions against acts of the European Union.

In close collaboration with our white-collar specialists, we represent our clients before criminal courts in cases involving favoritism, illegal taking of interest, bribery and corruption, etc.

Lastly, we have developed special expertise in preparing and supporting companies and executives summoned by parliamentary committees and inquiries.
Our environmental law team assists leading companies wishing to adapt to and stay one step ahead of the complex regulatory developments of French and European environmental law. Both in advisory work and litigation, we support organizations whether they be public or private, French or international, in matters related to renewable energy, circular economy, polluted sites and soils, and environmental communication (including greenwashing).

We help our clients avoid disputes where possible, and in cases of litigation, represent them in environmental disputes before the administrative and civil courts.

We work on administrative enforcement actions and penalties, and the implementation of environmental liability guarantees. We have recognized expertise in managing disputes related to ICPE authorizations (classified installations for environmental protection), closure of regulated sites, remediation obligations, as well as pollution and nuisance cases. We assist our clients with administrative sanctions, as well as environmental liability actions. In close collaboration with our white-collar crime specialists, we represent our clients before criminal courts and in the conclusion of environmental CJIPs (Judicial Public Interest Agreements).
Our team of bilingual and trilingual lawyers, with extensive experience in European Union law and the functioning of EU institutions, offers unparalleled expertise in the market. With a robust network of lawyers in several EU member states, we help you navigate the complexities of European law to achieve your business goals. We can assess the impact of European law on your business, negotiate cross-border transactions, and ensure compliance with applicable standards.We specialize in minimizing your legal risks in the European market.

Our dedicated team provides advisory and litigation/arbitration services to the legal, IT, and financial departments of international corporations. We leverage our extensive knowledge of regulations to forecast their evolution, with a particular focus on consumer law, competition law, financial market law, data processing and information technology regulations, intellectual property law, and employment law. You can count on our expertise to navigate complex legal issues and achieve your business goals in the EU.

Proceedings before the CJEU and the ECHR.
We assist our clients in proceedings before the European Court of Justice (preliminary references, actions for failure to fulfil obligations and actions for annulment) and the European Court of Human Rights.

Application of EU law before national courts
We support you in any action relating to the conformity of national law with Community law.
With over 70% of disputes resolved amicably, our certified mediators have extensive experience in mediation and conciliation.

In providing personalized support tailored to our clients' specific needs, our lawyers find the most suitable dispute resolution methods for each case. We always propose alternative dispute resolution solutions where appropriate. Our lawyers seek the most efficient solutions to preserve business operations and relationships.

Team

Working languages: French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic

Rewards

"Practice well regarded for its litigation activity. Adept at handling proceedings on a range of corporate matters, including shareholders' disputes, contractual issues and unfair competition allegations. Knowledgeable in the defense, insurance and manufacturing industries. Regularly handles cross-border matters, advising clients from France as well as other jurisdictions."

"Sources praise the lawyers for their commercial awareness, with one remarking: "What I like is that they are committed to understanding our business, our values, and our commercial mindset.""

"Marie Danis of August Debouzy assists clients with ICC and OHADA arbitrations. She is also noted for acting on setting-aside proceedings."

Chambers & Partners Europe 2024

Litigation : Elite

Band 4

Chambers & Partners Europe 2024

Litigation : Marie Danis

Band 4

Chambers & Partners Europe 2024

Litigation : Benjamin Van Gaver

Band 5

Chambers & Partners Europe 2024

International Arbitration : Marie Danis

Band 5

Chambers & Partners Europe 2024

Corporate Compliance & Investigations

Band 2

Chambers & Partners Europe 2024

Corporate Compliance & Investigations : Astrid Mignon Colombet

Band 3

Chambers & Partners Europe 2024

Corporate Compliance & Investigations : Bernard Cazeneuve

Band 2

Chambers & Partners Europe 2024

Corporate Compliance & Investigations : Olivier Attias

Band 3

Chambers & Partners Europe 2024

White-Collar Crime : Astrid Mignon Colombet

Band 3

Option Droit & Affaires 2023

White-Collar Crime

Tier 1

Option Droit & Affaires 2023

Acquisition litigation

Tier 2

Option Droit & Affaires 2023

International arbitration

Tier 3

Option Droit & Affaires 2023

Defective products and claim litigation

Tier 5

Option Droit & Affaires 2023

Stock market & financial litigation

Tier 4

Dispute resolution

International arbitration

Highly recommended

Dispute resolution

Banking & Finance Litigation

Highly recommended

Dispute resolution

Mediation

Leading

Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation

Excellent

Dispute resolution

White-Collar Crime

Excellent

Industrial risks & Liability litigation

Civil liability and financial risk

Highly recommended

Industrial risks & Liability litigation

Claims and insurance litigation

Recommended

Africa Desk

International arbitration and litigation

Recommended

Chambers & Partners Global 2024

Litigation

Band 4

Chambers & Partners Global 2024

Litigation : Marie Danis

Band 4

Chambers & Partners Global 2024

Litigation : Benjamin Van Gaver

Band 5

Chambers & Partners Global 2024

International Arbitration : Marie Danis

Band 5

Legal 500 EMEA 2024

Dispute Resolution : White-Collar Crime

Tier 2

Legal 500 EMEA 2024

Dispute Resolution : Commercial litigation

Tier 3

Legal 500 EMEA 2024

Dispute Resolution : International Arbitration

Tier 5

Legal 500 EMEA 2024

Dispute resolution: International arbitration : Marie Valentini

Rising star

Legal 500 EMEA 2024

Dispute Resolution : White-Collar Crime : Astrid Mignon Colombet

Leading individual

The Best Lawyers in France

Marie Danis:
Arbitration and Mediation; International Arbitration; Litigation

Astrid Mignon Colombet:
Aviation Law; Corporate Governance and Compliance Practice; Criminal Defense; Litigation

Basile Ader:
Corporate Governance and Compliance Practice; Criminal Defense; Defamation Law; Litigation; Media Law

Olivier Attias:
Corporate Governance and Compliance Practice

Bernard Cazeneuve:
Corporate Governance and Compliance Practice

Benjamin van Gaver:
Corporate Governance and Compliance Practice; Criminal Defense; Defamation Law; Litigation

Valérie Munoz-Pons:
Criminal Defense

Amélie Tripet:
Criminal Defense;Defamation Law; Intellectual Property Law; Intellectual Property Law; Media Law

Pierre Sellal:
European Union Law; Government Relations Practice

Marie Valentini:
International Arbitration